An Open Letter to the Ramones Family Worldwide:

Dee Dee Ramone was found dead in his home by his wife, unconfirmed early reports list the apparent cause of his death as drug related. 

Only last month we gathered at the Bowery Ballroom and CBGB's, at clubs and in scenes everywhere to celebrate Joey's life and legacy  on what would have been his 51st birthday. And now this.  Every fan has their own personal Ramone---the one we admire and emulate as a role model. Joey was my dear friend, and I cherish Tommy, CJ, Mark and John, but Dee Dee was my Ramone---he belonged to me. I dressed like him, cut my hair like his, and sang his lyrics as if they came from my own heart--because they did.

While the ferocious intensity of each Ramone exploded into the glorious whole we have known and loved since 1976, Dee Dee was the nuclear core of the band, the true genius whose demonic wit formed the emotional center of the Most American Band Ever. He was pop savvy, feral, silly and brilliant. Sensitive, kind, fun and totally fucked up. He was passionate about his rock & roll, his hair and deeply in love with his wife Barbara. Dee Dee loved dachshunds and Germany. Like the rest of his bandmates, he was a great American patriot, an original, a populist and an artist. His songs gave misfits everywhere hope and communion.

Wherever he was, whenever we saw him, he opened our hearts with a childlike joy and wonder.With Daniel Rey, he wrote the best Ramones songs---including "RockawayBeach. His lyrics were the most insane and heartfelt. To have lost him this way is devastating. To celebrate his life and his legacy will be our only solace. Dee Dee once told me he didn't fit in anywhere, he was a misfit. But we are proof that he was wrong, he was one of us, as we are part of him. The Ramones' family includes generations of fans, family and friends, we cross all boundaries of race, religion, sex, nation and age. We are straight, gay, Christian, Jew, Muslim and Hindu. Right wing, left wing and don't give a shit.

But we are one in the Ramones---So God bless America, Dee Dee, Joey, All Ramones and their mighty legions.

Today your love, tomorrow the world,
Donna Gaines, FRHS 1968


The Remains, a post-Ramones ensemble including (left to right) 
Daniel Rey, Joey Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone.